Demand exceeds supply, so home prices will keep climbing in Utah

Mar 21, 2022, 3:57 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm
home prices rural utah home...
Homebuyers and renovators are still dealing with record high lumber prices. A trend that experts say likely won’t fade any time soon. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Home prices in Utah will keep on rising as long as demand keeps outpacing supply. But a housing expert sees price increases coming down to single digits, more closing matching the pre-pandemic era. 

The median price for a home has climbed to nearly $600,000 in both Utah and Salt Lake counties.

Blame a lack of supply and surging demand for rising housing prices. Experts say prices will keep going up as long as demand outstrips supply, which is now low.

“In Salt Lake in just one year, prices have jumped 23% in one year,” Dave said.

Debbie said in the first quarter of last year the median price for a house in Salt Lake City was $340,000, citing a report from the US Federal Housing Finance Agency:

  • Q1 of 2020: $304,000
  • Q1 of 2019: $285,000
  • Q1 of 2018: $263,000 
  • Q1 of 2017: $240,000

“If you found a house right now for 240,000 . . .”
“You’d think you were in Kansas,” Debbie said, finishing Dave’s thought.

Ask the expert

Dejan Eskic, a senior research fellow with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, told KSL’s Dave & Dujanovic that there are about 5,000 fewer houses on the market now compared with the housing supply before the pandemic.

Eskic said a crop of 30-somethings seeking their first home are driving demand in Utah and across the nation.

“[They] are finally getting their life together and moving out of their parents’ basements. And they’re starting families. Nationally, we have roughly 33 million people hitting that first-time homebuyer age of 32,” he said. “In Utah as a share of our population, we have an even greater percentage.”

Eskic also said the supply of homes is low in Utah.

“Prior to the pandemic, we had around this time of year roughly 7,000 to 8,000 homes for sale,” he said. “Right now we have about two [2,000].”

Eskic said a home in Utah now typically sells in six days.

“A healthy market apartment vacancy is 4% to 5% Right now we’re at 2%,” he added.

And, by permitting homes at record levels but not completing them because of labor and material shortages, builders compound the situation according to Eskic.

“Unfortunately, that’s why we’re seeing these crazy record prices,” he said.

“Anybody who’s in the market right now looking for houses is wondering: Are we going to at least see prices start leveling off where they’re not shooting up 20%, 25% every year?” Debbie asked.

Eskic said the expectations are for home prices to moderate downward to single-digit growth like the housing market was before the pandemic.

“That’s our best bet right now — that we stop seeing double-digit increases, and we’ll just go back to a healthy 5% to 6% increase,” he said.

Related: Rising interest rates put homes out of reach for 2 of 3 Utah families


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

education legislation...
Mark Jones

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in classrooms

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in Utah classrooms.
22 hours ago
It's so cold today (Jan. 30) that plumbers are expecting calls anytime from customers needing servi...
Curt Gresseth

When it’s this cold, keep your pipes from freezing. Here’s how.

It's so cold outside today that a plumber has joined the show to share tips on keeping your pipes inside and outside your home from freezing.
22 hours ago
Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Students at Spanish ...
Mark Jones

Concurrent enrollment provides students with options in Nebo School District

Programs such as concurrent enrollment can give high school students and their parents options.
5 days ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
5 days ago
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
5 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Banks to launch app to compete with Apple Pay and Venmo

Banks are launching a new app for online money transfers that customers can trust to protect their finances.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Demand exceeds supply, so home prices will keep climbing in Utah